Monthly Archives: September 2015

Chubb Fire & Security’s systems business receives RoSPA Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety standards

For the third year in succession, Chubb Fire & Security Limited has received a Gold Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for its systems business. For its part, Chubb Fire & Security’s branch network business has received a Silver Award.

Mark Redding, senior EH&S manager at Chubb Fire & Security and Steve Cottrell (EH&S manager for Chubb Systems) accepted the awards on behalf of the organisation. Both agreed that RoSPA’s recognition of Chubb’s commitment to occupational Health and Safety is a tribute to the consistent value Chubb places on employee welfare.

“Our occupational Health and Safety approach is at the heart of everything we do, and this recognition reinforces our customers’ trust in Chubb’s business,” said Cottrell.

RoSPA is at the heart of accident prevention and universally recognised as the ultimate authority in Health and Safety matters. Its Occupational Health and Safety Awards are internationally known and, in 2015, took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

By achieving a RoSPA Award, an organisation is proving its commitment to maintaining a well-balanced approach to Health and Safety management, as well as demonstrating superior practices in areas such as leadership and workplace contribution.

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Scottish Fire Stations opt for C-TEC’s EN54-4 power supplies to support remote monitoring of systems

C-TEC’s VdS-certified EN54-4 power supplies are performing a vital task at 22 fire stations north of the border.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service called on Safe Services to install CSL DualCom fire units powered up by C-TEC’s BF360-24 power supplies to add remote monitoring to fire systems at its stations. As a result, any faults are now reported to a 24-hour Alarm Receiving Centre to ensure additional protection at the sites located across the Scottish Borders, West and East Lothian.

Graeme Millar (director at Safe Services, a Galashiels-based SP203-1 accredited company) commented: “As fire legislation in most European countries now states any power supply performing a mandatory function of a fire alarm system must comply with EN54-4/A2, C-TEC’s power supplies were the obvious choice for this project.”
C-TEC is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of life safety electronic systems including fire alarm control panels, detectors, call systems, disabled refuge systems, induction loop amplifiers and power supplies.

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Samsung all set to offer “out-of-the-box” software solutions on dedicated WiseNetIII Open Platform cameras

Last year, Samsung Techwin introduced its WiseNetIII Open Platform camera range. These bullet, dome and body camera variations run the very latest high performance DSP chipset, giving enough processing power to simultaneously use multiple edge-based applications. Now, Samsung Techwin Europe has given advance notice that the business intends to supply WiseNetIII models with pre-loaded applications.

Here, technology partner manager Dan England explains to Risk UK why Samsung Techwin Europe is going down the route of offering cameras with pre-loaded software, duly highlighting who will benefit from this significant move which is specifically designed to provide out-of-the-box solutions and, in turn, elevate video surveillance from simply being a security system to a smart solution that can deliver so much more for end customers. 

Risk UK: Dan, first of all can you tell Risk UK’s readers about your career to date?

Dan England: Yes, of course. I’m now in my seventeenth year in the security sector and, in that time, I’ve gained experience as an integrator and project manager. I’ve also worked for manufacturers of both access control and CCTV solutions. These days, I have developed a specific interest in edge-based video applications.

Risk UK: Can you also explain what your present role as technology partner manager entails?

Dan England: My overall objective is to ensure that we’re best placed to provide end users with significant added value from their video surveillance systems.

Since Samsung Techwin Europe launched the WiseNetIII Open Platform camera range, we’ve been approached by countless software development companies who want to capitalise on the new business opportunities that can be created by running their solutions on the WiseNetIII cameras.

Dan England

Dan England

My role is to manage, encourage and support all of these application developers, as well as video management software (VMS) providers, and work with them in partnership to ensure that our mutual customers have the freedom to choose from a wide range and combination of Samsung-approved solutions.

Risk UK: If you’re intending to pre-load applications on to WiseNetIII cameras, will this not restrict a customer’s choice as to which application they can work with?

Dan England: No, not at all. After listening to market feedback, it makes perfect sense to offer a number of ‘pre-packed’ options for those customers that are perhaps new to video analytics or would benefit from a simple ‘no-fuss’ purchase.

It’s also important to emphasise that customers will still be able to buy Samsung WiseNetIII cameras without any pre-loaded software and still have the option to upload applications of their choice as required. Following the connection of a WiseNetIII camera to the network, installers or operators simply need to upload their preferred app via the camera’s browser.

Risk UK: What are the advantages of ordering Samsung WiseNetIII cameras with pre-loaded applications?

Dan England: Our decision to do this is based on enhancing Samsung’s reputation as a brand that can always be trusted to look for ways to not only make it easier for customers to deploy our video surveillance solutions, but also for them to achieve maximum return on investment. In this respect, Open Platform is an exciting game-changer which we’re determined to help customers take advantage of on a continual basis.

Samsung'S WiseNetIII cameras

Samsung’S WiseNetIII cameras

By pre-loading software which we’ve fully tested and evaluated, we will be saving installers, systems integrators and end users considerable time and effort in having to research the fast-growing list of available applications.

Plus, since we’ve worked very closely with the respective developers of the applications, customers can be assured of a seamless integrated solution that’s easy to configure.

Risk UK: What kind of applications are you recommending to customers?

Dan England: Well, the good news is that some applications, such as Arteco Automatic Number Plate Recognition and Facit video analytics, are already available pre-loaded on Samsung WiseNetIII cameras.

In addition to video analytics, we’ll be offering WiseNetIII cameras and domes pre-loaded with storage, people counting, intruder and perimeter protection applications as well as specialist retail analysis solutions.

Over the coming months, I’ve no doubt that many more different types of applications will emerge.

As predicted when the WiseNetIII series was first launched, one thing we can be certain of is that we will be able to look back in a year or so and be amazed at the diversity of applications that have been introduced. The very latest out-of-the-box application is in fact a specialist time-lapse solution from Pernixia which has been developed to meet the requirements of the broadcast and construction industries.

Risk UK: It sounds like it might be quite complicated for customers to order WiseNetIII cameras with the right application pre-loaded, and particularly so if they want to take advantage of the cameras’ ability to run more than one application. Is that the case?

Dan England: In reality this will not be a problem. Using smart part numbers, we will make it a ‘no fuss’ process for customers to identify and order the ideal camera/applications combination. 

Risk UK: Who are your preferred suppliers of these applications and which regions do they cover?

Dan England: We will publish a complete list on our website in the very near future with a mixture of European and global solutions. In the meantime, I’m available on e-mail (d.england@samsung.coM) to offer advice and guidance on the best option for specific projects.

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Custodian releases monitoring portal upgrade with promise of “new levels of efficiency” for end users

Custodian Monitoring Services – a recognised leading provider of intruder, fire and life safety systems monitoring – has released a new version of its online TOUCH monitoring portal that affords end users real-time access to a wide range of new reports and capabilities.

Created in response to stakeholder feedback, the new portal offers a broad range of benefits. End users, engineers and installers can now enjoy greater oversight of their buildings and portfolios via this web-based customer portal which places them in control of critical areas such as key holding.

Victoria Waude, head of monitoring sales at Custodian, is adamant that TOUCH users will gain improved levels of access control management.

“End users and installers now have the ability to temporarily suspend and re-instate key holders without delay,” said Waude. “This is extremely useful for those companies looking to manage access when employees go on holiday or are absent.”

Victoria Waude

Victoria Waude

Installers can now create and maintain engineer rotas at the touch of a button, anytime and from anywhere.

“The new features are aligned with our approach of designing products and systems that simplify processes and deliver greater operational efficiencies for our customers,” added Waude.

For their part, installers are now also able to upload logos and company information to their TOUCH platform to maintain their corporate identity.

Another feature includes bulk end user registrations, which makes it easier for installers to invite all of their customers to register. In addition, there are further functions in the engineer portal for online testing and event history.

Custodian operates in the UK as Security Monitoring Centres Ltd and is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a business unit of the United Technologies Corporation.

Custodian is one of the UK’s leading NSI Gold Alarm Receiving Centres, providing 24/7 monitoring for its customer base.

*For more information visit: www.custodianmonitoring.com

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Countdown begins to UK locksmithing and physical security industry’s biggest Trade Expo

The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) is set to host Europe’s largest trade exhibition for the locksmithing and physical security industry. From 2-4 October, suppliers and manufacturers will meet visitors from all over the world at the International Centre in Telford.

The theme of this year’s MLA Expo is ‘Tomorrow’s Locksmithing Today’. This is designed to help encourage and develop a future generation for the historic profession.

Nearly 100 exhibitors have already signed up for the biennial event, which sees locksmiths meet with suppliers, exhibit their products and services, discuss industry trends and take part in training courses.

MLA development director Dr Steffan George said: “MLA Expo is a truly global exhibition involving people from within the locksmithing industry. 2015 marks the event’s eighteenth incarnation and is set to be the biggest yet.”

George added: “MLA Expo is one of the most anticipated events in the security industry’s calendar, offering a fantastic opportunity for locksmithing and security companies and professionals from around the world to come together. They can showcase their products and services, network, share knowledge and make new contacts.”

Dr Steffan George of the MLA

Dr Steffan George of the MLA

Representatives from the police service, the insurance industry and Neighbourhood Watch will also be at the sold-out event along with newly-qualified apprentices as the MLA strives to secure the future of the industry and ensure locksmithing is seen as a potential career.

ASSA Abloy – one of the world’s biggest supplier of locks and security solutions – has joined forces with the MLA and Skills for Security (the skills body for the security sector) to support an apprenticeship scheme. The locksmith apprenticeship was set up in January last year with a view to generating the first nationally-recognised qualification for the locksmith sector, as well as securing its future by encouraging more young people to consider locksmithing as a profession.

The MLA was established over 50 years ago to set and promote standards of conduct, practice and materials within locksmithing. The organisation is recognised as the authoritative body for locksmithing by the police service, the Home Office and other leading organisations such as the British Standards Institution.

As a not-for-profit association, the MLA ensures its member companies undergo strict vetting procedures such that members of the public, the Government and industry receive the appropriate service and advice.

The MLA’s members share the ethos that ‘skill and integrity’ remain paramount in locksmithing and are able to provide sound advice based on knowledge and experience.

*For a list of approved MLA companies visit www.locksmiths.co.uk

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Pointer presented with Investors in Young People Gold Award for impressive youth employment policy

Recognised as one of the largest independent security companies in the UK, Pointer has now been honoured for its commitment to employing young people, with the Investors in Young People (IIYP) Gold Award for Good Practice bestowed upon the Glasgow-based business by Annabelle Ewing MSP.

To mark the accreditation, Ewing (the Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment) visited Pointer’s headquarters in Glasgow city centre in order to meet some of the talented and ambitious young people recruited by the company and also learn about some of the training and recognition they’ve received.

The Minister duly commended Pointer for its commitment to young people as well as the company’s strong focus on creating employment and training opportunities within Scotland’s risk and security management sector.

Speaking at the presentation, Annabelle Ewing enthused: “I’m delighted that Pointer has been recognised for its commitment to employing and investing in young people. Over the last few years, the company has introduced a number of youth employment programmes for staff who want to pursue a career in the risk and security management sector. In fact, this is the perfect example of what companies in the risk sector can do. It offers recruitment and training opportunities that provide good development potential for young people so they can plan ahead and nurture longer-term ambitions.”

Ewing added: “This accreditation is a very significant achievement and indicative of the culture that Pointer has created. It’s a culture that places young people at the very heart of how the business consistently achieves its results.”

Funding from the Scottish Government

An initiative devised by Investors in People Scotland, the IIYP scheme is supported by £1 million worth of funding from the Scottish Government. It’s Scotland’s only people management award focusing on employers’ recruitment and retention of young people.

The scheme originated through a key recommendation from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, led by Sir Ian Wood.

Peter Russian, CEO at Investors in People, commented: “Pointer has demonstrated a real desire to recruit, develop and retain young people as part of its business. This Gold Award is a fantastic achievement for the company, and I offer my heartfelt congratulations.”

Russian went on to state: “The Investors in Young People framework not only recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people, but also marks them out as an employer of choice. The benefits of recruiting and developing young people are countless. These include the creation of a talent pool for the future, new and increased skills, fresh eyes and mindsets on business operations plus enthusiasm and the development of unique talents.”

Sandy Rowan, CEO at Pointer, told Risk UK: “I’m extremely proud that Pointer has achieved this milestone. The IIYP accreditation represents a true commitment to our employees and demonstrates a solid foundation for good practice. One of the biggest challenges businesses face is finding the right personnel to help them grow. Along with IIYP, we firmly believe that the recruitment and development of young people is a great way to build a dynamic and productive workforce.”

Rowan also asserted: “By attaining this accreditation, Pointer has proven itself to be an organisation that listens to new ideas, modern viewpoints and energetic minds while also committing to the realisation of each individual’s true potential. Youth employment is a key pillar of our business plan. I’m delighted that our work in this area has been recognised.”

*Further information about Investors in Young People may be accessed online at: www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/investors-young-people

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The Risk UK Interview: Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president at VCA)

Over recent years, VCA has achieved significant success promoting its analytics as an OEM edge-based solution which can be incorporated into other manufacturers’ IP cameras and devices. No less than 250,000 video channels worldwide are now using the company’s analytics.

VCA has now launched its own brand of IP network devices and software. Here, Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president for global sales at VCA) explains to Risk UK the thinking behind this bold step of introducing a new range in a marketplace that’s not short of manufacturers competing for the attention of installers, systems integrators and end users.

Risk UK: Until now, your business model has been based on offering the VCA analytics platform as an OEM solution. What has motivated you to change direction?

Kevin Waterhouse: We remain committed to offering our analytics technology as an OEM solution. Customers can be assured that our long-term strategy includes plans to work closely with an increasing number of manufacturers of surveillance cameras and other devices, as well as Video Management Software (VMS) providers, to ensure this important part of our business will continue to grow.

However, what we have embarked on is a twin-track approach whereby VCA will also directly support systems integrators to help them generate new revenue streams by supplying them with ‘out-of-the-box’ analytics built into the VCA brand of IP network devices.

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Risk UK: What are these new revenue streams to which you refer? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The new revenue streams relate to the opportunity to provide end users with intelligent video surveillance solutions that can do so much more than just deter or detect criminal activity. The analytics incorporated into the new VCA range enhances our ability in the video monitoring sector to reduce false alarms and improve detection.

It also opens up the opportunity to gather reliable and verifiable data to help a diverse range of businesses and organisations such as banks, casinos, hospitals, educational establishments, retailers and hospitality venues achieve a greater understanding of the behaviour of people who work at or visit their premises.

The technology is capable of capturing metadata that can be graphically displayed in customisable reports to provide marketing, Health and Safety, Human Resources and other operational departments with the information they need to achieve their business objectives.

By dealing directly with systems integrators, we’ll be able to ensure that they benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of our pre- and post-sales support teams such that they’re equipped with the necessary tools and have the confidence to be able to offer the full benefits of VCA to their clients.

Risk UK: Can you give us some examples of how this will help your new customers generate new revenue streams? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The analytics built into the VCA devices will enable them to offer their clients added value from their investment in video surveillance systems and, if they wish, offer the cameras as part of a ‘Security as a Service business model. We intend to work closely with a hand-picked network of customers to help them profit from this model and, in the process, offer tangible benefits to their clients. 

In the retail sector, for example, with training and support from VCA, systems integrators can offer their clients the opportunity to increase productivity with less staff, improve customer satisfaction by minimising delays at check-outs or identify the best times and locations for product promotions.

These are just a few goals that can be achieved with very little effort with the help of devices featuring VCA analytics. It also provides security personnel with a powerful tool to detect and combat theft and other criminal activity. 

Risk UK: There are now a large number of other analytics solutions available for customers. How does VCA stand out from the crowd? 

Kevin Waterhouse: ‘User friendly’ may be an overused phrase, but it is in fact an accurate description of VCA analytics. The significance of this should not be underrated, as there’s a perception in the marketplace that analytics can be difficult to implement and use.

We will be adding to the user friendliness of our analytics over the coming months with a new dashboard graphical user interface which will make it even easier for any business to view both real-time and historical business intelligence.

VCA analytics has also established a reputation for being highly accurate and, when employed for intruder detection purposes, has a very low rate of false alarms. This is particularly important in outdoor environments. Here, false alarms continue to be a major issue for organisations who need an effective perimeter protection solution to detect intruders.

It’s now taken for granted that HD cameras from any reputable manufacturer should be able to capture evidence grade images. However, our on-board video analytics significantly upgrade the capability of VCA cameras which, for this type of application, should perhaps be better described as ‘Intelligent Video Detectors’.

In this respect, they provide a great opportunity for VCA installers, remote monitoring centres and end users to work in harmony when it comes to reducing the time-consuming and costly impact of false alarms. It’s just another excellent example of how VCA can support the supply chain by generating new revenue streams while at the same time providing end users with a robust and reliable solution.

Risk UK: You’ve spoken about the new devices carrying the VCA brand, but you also mentioned VMS providers. Can you expand on this part of your strategy?

Kevin Waterhouse: Sure. In addition to our edge-based devices, we’ve developed a server-based software tool that will make the integration of our VCA software very quick and with little CPU overhead. The software can be added to either Linux or Windows-based software.

We already have a number of VMS clients embedding VCA and expect many more to follow along with PSIM, access and intelligent building software providers. In addition, we will shortly be launching a new device which will allow VCA to be added to any IP camera providing an RTSP stream.

Risk UK: So is VCA not developing its own VMS?

Kevin Waterhouse: Absolutely not. We have a very good relationship with the leading VMS providers and have worked closely with them to develop our VCA software tool. However, we have now released some application-specific software to support our edge devices. Ucountit, for example, is our cloud-based Business Intelligence service and Utrack is a unique auto tracking software tool. Both have been introduced because we believe it’s important to provide application solutions that fully exploit our analytics technology.

Risk UK: So you have new products and new services, but will you have sufficient resources to directly supply and support these systems integrators? 

Kevin Waterhouse: We will not hesitate to continue investing in HR to ensure that our pre- and post-sales services more than match any increase in sales. It’s already the case that we have a strong technical support team in place and have recently recruited three seasoned security professionals to ensure that we can support customers worldwide.

Gary Mercer has joined VCA as UK sales manager while Ami Paz is our new business development manager for Israel and Çağlan Dilber has been appointed business development manager for the MENA region.

Ian Young has also joined the EMEA team to drive the software and applications developments and business.

All four have extensive global experience in the design and implementation of analytics applications across many different market sectors. Recently, we’ve extended our US team. There’ll be more news on this in the near future.

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